Recipe: Peanut Noodles!

peanut noodles

This recipe combines two of my favorite things: noodles and peanut butter. I got the recipe from Food Network, and it’s so creamy and flavorful and just plain delicious! I love to sauté some vegetables and combine them with my favorite brown rice noodles and this amazing peanut sauce. And the sauce is literally one of the easiest things to make! All you have to do is throw some stuff in the blender and turn it on. This is one of my go-to recipes, and it’s definitely one to keep in your recipe lineup.

What you’ll need:

  • 12 oz brown rice spaghetti (my favorite is Tinkyada)
  • handful of matchstick carrots
  • handful of broccoli slaw (which has broccoli, red cabbage, and carrots, so you could always just chop up some broccoli and cabbage)
  • a few slices of zucchini, cut into strips
  • about a tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1-2 chopped green onions
  • crushed peanuts, for topping
  • (you can add any meat you want; most of the time I just use veggies, unless I have some leftover grilled chicken or something like that that’s easy to toss in)

(For the sauce)

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I like Jif)
  • 8 oz coconut milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1-2 tablespoons lime juice concentrate
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

How to make it:

  1. Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package
  2. While your pasta is cooking, sauté your carrots, broccoli slaw, and zucchini in a wok or pan in a little bit of canola oil
  3. Just before you add your pasta, put your green onions and garlic in the wok and cook for another minute or so. Then add in your pasta to the veggies
  4. For the sauce, put all your ingredients in the blender and blend it all up until it’s nice and creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust ingredients as desired
  5. Add as much sauce as you’d like to the pasta and veggie combo, and mix it all together
  6. Plate it up and top with the crushed peanuts

And there you go! You have delicious Peanut Noodles that will make your taste buds as happy as can be. This is such an easy recipe. I barely have to do any work, because most of the vegetables I use are the ones that come in bags and are already pre-cut. Literally the only things I have to cut up are the zucchini and green onions, and that takes no time at all. I even have a jar of minced garlic, so I don’t have to chop that up either. And of course you can add whatever vegetables you have in your house! I am obsessed with the flavor of this sauce, and the crunch of the peanuts on top just makes it even better. I could eat this all day every day.

The best thing about the peanut sauce in particular is you don’t just have to use it on pasta. I’ve used it in the past as a dip for an avocado summer roll (courtesy of Wegman’s). You could also use it to dip veggies in. Or as a sauce for chicken, fish, or shrimp. You could even try it as a salad dressing. I almost always have leftover sauce, so you will definitely have the opportunity to experiment with its different uses. Any way you eat it, it will be a creamy, delicious delight.

peanut noodles

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Recipe: Crockpot Chicken Taco Chili!

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When you’re snowed in with blizzard conditions, everyone wants a nice warm bowl of something comforting. For us this weekend, that bowl was full of Crockpot Chicken Taco Chili! We got about two feet of snow, so were desperately in need of warmth. I got the idea for this recipe from Skinnytaste.com, but changed a couple things according to what we actually had in our pantry. It was different from your typical chili, mostly because the chicken is shredded instead of ground, and the taco seasoning gives it a little bit of a different flavor. We always love a Crockpot dinner in our house because all you have to do is pop some stuff in the pot, turn it on, and dinner is ready for you in the evening! It was so delicious, easy, and most importantly, warm!

What you’ll need:

  • 24 oz (3-4) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 15.5 oz can kidney beans
  • 1 15.5 oz can Cannellini beans
  • 1 15.5 oz can black eyed peas
  • 1 29 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 4 oz can chopped green chiles
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (I used Old El Paso)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

How to make it:

  1. Combine beans, onion, green chiles, tomato sauce, chili powder and taco seasoning in a slow cooker and combine well
  2. Add the whole chicken breasts and completely cover them. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or high for 4 to 6 hours (we did it on high because we didn’t start making it early enough)
  3. 30 minutes before serving, take the chicken out and shred it. Put your chicken back in the slow cooker and stir it all together to cook for the last couple minutes. When it’s done, scoop it into a bowl, add your favorite toppings and enjoy!

crockpot chicken taco chili

This chili was so easy and so so yummy! I topped mine with cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, and some chipotle hot sauce. My mom opted for diced tomatoes instead of hot sauce. When we were all topping our chili, my mom and I got into a bit of a presentation war to see who could make their chili prettier. As much as I hate to admit it, I think she might’ve won (although I argue that she tried way too hard).

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Me vs. Mom

The nice thing about this chili is you can put whatever kinds of beans or additional ingredients you want. We used those three kinds of beans because they were all we had, but you could use black beans, pinto beans, whatever you like! You could also add corn, or put the diced tomatoes we topped with into the chili, or add some peppers. You also don’t have to just eat the chili out of a bowl; you can serve it over rice or even as a dip for some tortilla chips. No matter how you enjoy it, it will be delicious and will keep you warm! I can’t wait to use up our leftovers. 🙂

In the meantime, we will continue to dig ourselves out of the snow!

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Recipe: Tuna Casserole!

This is one of my very favorite recipes, mostly because it’s one of the only things I can make completely by myself with no help whatsoever. (It’s also my mom’s favorite because it means she doesn’t have to cook dinner). And it’s so easy! All of the ingredients are things that I almost always have around the house, and you can substitute in whatever you like! Instead of peas, you can use your favorite vegetable. Instead of tuna, you can use chicken or turkey. Instead of mozzarella, you can use cheddar. Instead of cream of mushroom, you can use cream of chicken. Literally so many possibilities! So here ya go:

What you’ll need:

tuna casserole ingredients

  • 16oz brown rice pasta (my very favorite pasta is the Tinkyada brand)
  • 2 18oz cans of gluten free cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 6oz cans of albacore tuna
  • 8.5oz can of sweet peas (I usually prefer to use about a cup of frozen peas but I didn’t have any)
  • 2 cups of mozzarella cheese
  • about 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
  • about a tablespoon or so of breadcrumbs, for topping
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder to taste
  • a few drops of gravy master

How to make it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°
  2. Cook your pasta in a large pot according to the package. While it’s cooking, flake your tuna.
  3. After your pasta is done, heat the cream of mushroom soup in the same pot. Add a few drops of gravy master (until it’s a light brown color), and add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder to taste.
  4. After the soup is hot and starts to bubble, add your tuna, peas, and 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella, half of the parmesan, and then your cooked and drained pasta. Combine well.tuna casserole
  5. Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 inch pan and spread it so thats the top is flat and even. Top with the rest of the mozzarella and parmesan, as well as the breadcrumbs.
  6. Bake for 15 mins, and then broil on high until it’s brown and bubbly and crispy on top.
tuna casserole

Before & after

This casserole is SO good! The first time I made it was actually at my aunt’s house when she showed me how to make it, and I just kept making it ever since. Like I said before, the best thing about this is that you can put whatever you have in your fridge in this. Anything will work!

I hope you try it and love it as much as I do 🙂

Conte’s Pasta Products (+Recipe!)

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas (although with the 60° weather it sure doesn’t feel like Christmas). So I’m going to jump right in; let me tell you about Conte’s Pasta products! These frozen pasta products are pretty unique—they’re the only brand that I’ve seen that offer gluten free gnocchi and pierogies (or is it pierogi??). Along with these they also carry both spinach and cheese and plain cheese ravioli, as well as cheese stuffed shells, which I haven’t tried yet.

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I love all of these products! One of my favorites is the pierogies. They have potato and onion as well as potato, cheese, and onion. I also do a little something different with these than it says on the package. The instructions only say to cook them by boiling them, but when I make them I add an extra step. I like to crisp them up in a pan with some canola oil, because the little bit of crunchiness makes them 10x better! I finish them off by making a little sour cream dipping sauce with sour cream, green onions, and some garlic and seasonings. Both kinds of ravioli are also delicious, with whatever sauce you like on it (I usually use either marinara or alfredo sauce).

The gnocchi was a rather new discovery for me. I’d never had it before but I really wanted to try it. When I found the Conte’s gnocchi at Wegman’s I was ridiculously excited. When I made it, I thought it would be pretty lame to just throw some regular old sauce on it; I had to make it fancy. So I looked up a recipe, and here is what I found: Gnocchi in Parmesan Garlic Sauce. Doesn’t everything about that sound delicious?? Obviously you can put whatever sauce you like on it (some pesto, a plain butter sauce, etc), but this sauce is fantastic.

So here you go, a recipe within my review!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 pound gnocchi or other pasta/1 package Conte’s Gnocchi
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 cup grated parmesan (now this seemed like a lot to me, so I just put in what I thought looked like enough, which was at least half this amount)
  • 1/4 cup cooking liquid, aka the water you cooked your pasta in
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley for topping (optional)

Making the dish:

  1. Cook gnocchi according to the package instructions (and don’t forget to reserve your 1/4 cup of cooking liquid!)
  2. In a saucepan, melt your butter over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add your garlic and sauté for 1 minute, and be sure to stir it constantly
  3. After your gnocchi is cooked and drained, add it to the pan with the parmesan and cooking liquid. Stir until it’s creamy
  4. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and allow the liquid to reduce for about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper

And you’re done! Top with the parsley to make it all pretty and enjoy!

Gnocchi with Parmesan Garlic Sauce

 

Recipe: Zucchini Bread!

We have a garden in our backyard, and every year my dad grows zucchini. By the end of the summer, we have a ridiculous amount of these things. And they’re not just normal zucchini; for some reason the ones we grow are massive. On average, a zucchini is usually somewhere between 6 and 10 inches. However, some of ours are almost double that!

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Since we always have so much zucchini, we are constantly looking for things to do with it, whether it be zucchini parmesan, zucchini fries, grilling it as a side dish, or just giving it away to friends and family. But zucchini bread is definitely one of my favorites. You can eat this bread for breakfast (which is what I do), or you can put some frosting on it and make it a dessert! No matter what you do with it, it’s guaranteed to always be delicious!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of grated zucchini
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose gluten free flour (I used Domata GF Recipe Ready Flour)
  • 1/4 cup almond flour (or you could substitute all purpose gluten free flour if you have a nut allergy)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum, only if your flour blend doesn’t already have it
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk (or if you don’t have that around, whole milk)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I don’t like nuts in my bread so I chose not to add these)

Making the zucchini bread:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°, and spray 3 mini loaf pans or one standard 9-inch loaf pan (which is what I used) and set aside.
  2. Put your shredded zucchini in some paper towels and gently squeeze out any moisture. Fluff your zucchini with a fork and set aside.
  3. Whisk together your GF all purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. In another large bowl, add your brown sugar, canola oil, eggs, coconut milk, lemon juice, vanilla, and nuts. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and beat until combined. Fold in your grated zucchini, and if you’d like you can reserve a little bit of it to sprinkle on top of the loaf.
  5. Pour your mixture into your pan and sprinkle on the reserved zucchini. Bake for 35-40 minutes*, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  6. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then carefully turn out the loaf to cool completely on a rack

*I think this recipe was really meant for 3 mini loaves, so when I made it in the 9-inch pan it took longer—about 20 minutes more.

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The before & after

This zucchini bread is so amazing and the taste of vanilla and cinnamon are so delicious. I ate this every day for breakfast for as long as it lasted (which wasn’t too long), and it was also a great snack. The best thing about it was that it was a wonderfully tasty way to get rid of our hoards of zucchini!

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Recipe: Quiche!

It’s time for my first recipe: gluten free quiche! I love this quiche, and it’s so easy! My grandma actually found the recipe and modified it a little to make it gluten free. I think it was even one of the first gluten free meals she made for me after I was diagnosed. Here you can see the beautifully written recipe:

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What you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup gluten free Bisquick
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 oz cheese(s) of your choice (I used a mix of sharp cheddar, colby jack, and parmesan & romano)
  • Any other ingredients you’d like (I used ham and green onions)

To make the quiche:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°
2. Prepare any ingredients for the quiche—for me, this included chopping up the green onions and ham (I just used regular sliced deli ham)
IMG_90633. Whisk together Bisquick, milk, eggs, salt and pepper
4. Combine remaining ingredients with above mixture and pour into a large, greased pie plate
5. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until brown

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The before and after

Serve on its own or with a side salad! Accompanying our quiche was a little arugula salad with a simple lemon olive oil dressing and parmesan.
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The best thing about this recipe is you can use whatever you have in your fridge. All that went into this besides the three base ingredients was the rest of the shredded cheese I had in the fridge, some deli ham, and a couple of green onions (and obviously a lot of love!). This is probably one of the simplest recipes you can make, and it helps you use up the food in your fridge!

I hope you enjoy this quiche as much as I do!